Reading Eagle Lays Off 50; No Severance Packages

The Reading Eagle isn’t showing much class: when it laid off 50 of its 400-strong staff last week, none of those employees received anything but two weeks of extended health care as a “thank you.”

And the paper’s really in slash and burn mode, according to Editor & Publisher: “I offered to help explain the job to someone else who would take over, but they said no,” Al Walentis, a 30-year vet of the paper told E&P.

“I wanted to stay and wrap up some loose ends [on my beat],” Rebecca VanderMeulen, a reporter, said, “but they didn’t think it was appropriate.”

Our hearts go out to those who have lost their jobs here. The paper’s really not going out of their way to thank these folks for their work; instead, it’s more like “don’t let the door hit you on your way out.” In fact, the management who made these decisions probably wouldn’t care if the door did hit anyone.